Wednesday, August 30, 2006

From Club To Academy (1933)

In 1933 The Palette and Chisel Academy of Fine Arts officially became the kind of corporation that could be tax exempt -- with a change in purpose (to serve the public instead of the members) -- and a change of name (as an 'academy' instead of a 'club')

Here's that fateful document -- as signed by P&C President, James Topping:

Quarterly Autumn 2006

Motions that will be come before the Winter Quarterly of 2007 ( the Autumn Quarterly of 2006 never occurred) include:

1. To make Jane Ellen Murray an honorary member
2. To make Sharon Williams an honorary member

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Sculptures of 2006

Send us the best sculptures you made in 2006 (any medium) - and we'll show them on this post.

Maximum: TWO

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Portrait paintings of 2006

Send us the best portrait paintings you made in 2006 (any medium) - and we'll show them on this post.

Maximum: TWO

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Mike Wilkins

Mike Wilkins.

Mary Qian "Marina"

Figure Paintings of 2006

Send us the best figure paintings you made in 2006 (any medium) - and we'll show them on this post.

Maximum: TWO

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Landscape Paintings of 2006

Send us the best landscape paintings you made in 2006 (any medium) - and we'll show them on this post.

Maximum: TWO

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Stuart Fullerton

"Art Is Not Too Long"

This is the last of the gems given to me by Frank Hensley. It's an article from the April 1935 issue of The Chicagoan. The author is N. P. Steinberg.

Art Is Not Too Long
The Palette & Chisel Club Notes An Anniversary
By N. P. Steinberg

The Palette & Chisel Academy of Fine Arts celebrates its fortieth year. The Academy is an organization of painters, sculptors, illustrators, decorators, designers, newspaper artists, cartoonists, etchers, and wood-block printers. It is the oldest independent practical art association in America. That is to say, it is one of the few working art organizations of artists not identified with some public institution, or dependent upon financial endowment from the outside.

Research into the Log Book of the organization confirms the reminiscences of Fred Larson, the only still active charter member. The idea for this organization was conceived one night in 1895 at the Art Institute of Chicago. A group of students called a meeting at the studio of Arnold Bunch to discuss the idea. Present at that meeting were Fred Larson, Henry Hutt, Carl Mauch, Chas. J. Mulligan, Wilson Irvine, Richard Boehm, Arnold Bunch, Curtis Gandy, Davit Hunter, H. Wagner and L. H. Coakley. These eleven adavnced students of the evening classes of the Art Institute were determined to work and develop their individualistic abilities and characteristics independently and free from the dictates of instructors.

At first they rented a large room at the old Athenaeum Building on Van Buren Street near Wabash Avenue, employed models to pose, and devoted their Sundays to drawing, painting and modeling in clay. But after a few such meetings these aggressive young men discovered that in order to make per capita assessments to keep their accounts balanced a formal organization was advisable. Accordingly, the "Palette & Chisel" was organized, with Carl Mauch as its first president.

Lorado Taft, the well-known sculptor, offered to rent his studio on the seventh floor of the building to the group for their use on Sundays. The young men gladly accepted, first because Mr. Taft was known to be interested in young artists, and secondly because they felt he would be lenient with them should the rent not be paid promptly. The organization began to grow.

Eventually Mr. Taft decided to give up this studio, but recommended the small organization so highly to the management of the building that the group became tenants in their own right. And so they remained for many years.

In its very early days, the late Frank Holme became a member. He was first among the newspaper artists in the country, a literary leader had he chosen to be, a good fellow to the core, and a constant and energetic worker. He found in the Palette & Chisel organization an outlet for his many talents. He worked for the organization, wrote for it, drew for it, and gave freely of his money, time and influence with the press and prominent people to help the organization. Mainly to Mr. Holme was due the first entertainment given by the group, a burlesque entitled Il Janitore. He wrote the libretto, with the assistance of George Ade. The music, according to the program, was "too late to classify." Il Janitore was humorous in the extreme, and good enough to rate a column or two of comment in most Chicago newspapers.

With such assistance and perseverance the Palette & Chisel boomed. New members, both active and associate, flocked in, active memberships (as today) constituting professional artists, associate members being laymen interested in the arts.

Holme's fund of original ideas still gushed from him and he continued to work prodigiously. His enthusiasm spread to other talented members who, catching his spirit, assisted him in arranging many events in close succession, such as a Hobo Pink Tea, a Roman Night, an Antediluvian smoker, a Cuba Libre smoker, a Coco Talk, or Phrenologists' Night,, many outings, and finally, in 1900, Carmen, greatest of all grandstand operas, in "three acts and six spasms"; Carmen with improved rag-time music.

Some of Holme's assistants in these productions were Henry Hutt, the two Leyendecker brothers, J. R. S. Williams, Henry Thiede, Wilson Irvine, Alfred Jansson, Fred Larson, Lawrence Mazzanovich, and E. N. Thayer.

On February 12, 1898, the Palette & Chisel organization opened the first Salon de Refuse held in Chicago. Newspaper clippings in the Log Book give amusing accounts of this exhibit in screaming headings such as "Art for the Masses," "Salon de Refuse opens in a Blaze of Glory--the Biggest Show on Earth." This burlesque exhibition poked good-natured fun at the works of Chicago artists exhibiting at the then current show at the Art Institute. Some of the works were supposed to represent a "loan" exhibit from the Art Institute, and burlesqued the prize winning paintings of the original collection. Others were amusing but clever take-offs on the part of members of the organization.

The catalog of the Salon de Refuse bears the following introduction and explanatory preface: "Be it especially understood, by way of explanation, that while all of fhe members of the organization are represented in this exhibit, they did not have masterpieces refused. In fact, several members did not send any at all. All pictures are for sale, 30 cents per square yard. The canvas is good and may be used again. Inquire at the Lake Front Dump." According to the newspaper comments the spirit of burlesque that pervaded the Salon de Refuse was thoroughly enjoyed. The irresistible copies of the prize winning pictures at the Art Institute were recognized at once. This "masterly" collection of the realisic school, according to the catalog, was "judged by a competent jury, the janitor and the conductors of the two elevators" in the old Athenaeum building having been secured to act in that capacity.

These entertainments and exhibitions over a period of years, although gay in spirit, had much of merit in them, and won for the organization many friends and admirers.

Uppermost in the minds and hearts of the members during all of this period, however, was the more important original aim "to work and develop," which aim far exceeded the entertainment features.

The last thirty years have seen the accomplishments of these aims and aspirations of the organization and its membership. The then student members have grown to be outstanding professional artists, the organization maturing with them. It is a matter of record that many of the best known of the country's painters, sculptors, illustrators, designers, etchers and men known for their wood-block color-prints were or still are members of the Palette & Chisel Academy of Fine Arts. For instance, to name a few: Eugene Savage, Victor Higgins, Walter Ufer, Martin Hennings, Oskar Gross, Gustave Baumann, Jeff Grant, Wilson Irvine, Ezra Winter, Albin Polesak. A long list of the country's leading illustrators also are on the organization's roster, such as the Leyendecker brothers, David Robinson, J. L. Williams, Leroy Baldridge and De Alton Valentine.

In the spring of 1921 the organization moved to its present home at 1012 N. Dearborn Street. The members themselves financed the purchase of the new headquarters, which had been a large residence. The top floor was transformed into a large studio; the roof was raised with steel beams supporting it and new sky-lights added. The lighting facilities, a very elaborate undertaking, realized the plans of Jack Ryan, an associate member, who did the entire job himself. The whole building was renovated by the members under the direction of Edward Holslag, an artist member. The lower floor was transformed into a large exhibition gallery, with reception rooms and a library.

The Cow-Bell, the official magazine of the organization at first, came into existence about 1913. The name was taken from the huge cow-bell with which meetings were called to order in the old days. The world war put a quietus upon this effort, but in 1921 the magazine wsa revived under the new name of Palette & Chisel.

During the summer months the organization for many years maintained a place at Fox Lake for outdoor painting and sketching. The summer camp was the property of the organization and comprised a club house of sufficient size to accommodate about seventy-five persons.

Work is the watchword of the organization always, but it is the kind of work that inspires every member with an absorbing interest. Models are posed on Tuesday and Thursday evenings throughout the year, and on Sundays from November to May. Competent criticism is provided for, but plenty more of a most frank and vigorous sort is volunteered by well-known artists and members. The visitor to this haven of artistic industry finds an array of objects on every hand which signal the appreciative eye, and demand more than passing attention. A glimpse into the big studio on the third floor of the present home would appeal to the heart of any devout student.

The visitor's interest is first challened by the model, always the central figure of the group. Then the visitor's attention is drawn to the semicircle of artists, seldom less than twenty of htem, working with an earnestness and energy which must acquit them of any possible charge that they are engaged in a purposeless amusement. The artists nearest the model's throne are squatted on low stools; those in the crescent tier immediately behind are seated in chairs; and the workers in the outer circle are standing before their tall easels. There is not a face in the entire group which is not animated with the glow of genuine concentration and plesure. When the time keeper calls a halt at 10 o'clock he is invariably greeted with sighs and expressions of regret that the three hours of work have flown so quickly.

Each member of the organization is free to choose his own medium of artistic expression. Some work in charcoal or crayon or water color during these study hours, although the majority prefer to use palette and brush. Occasionally some try their hands at etching and wood-block carving. Many interesting lectures on various phases of art are also provided by prominent artists.

Besides the studio facilities, the Palette & Chisel Academy of Fine Arts maintains interesting and educational exhibits during the year. Annual exhibitions of water colors by the members are held during the first part of the year. These are followed by the Black and White show, comprising drawings, etchings and lithographs. During the month of May the annual exhibition of oil paintings by the members is held. This is regarded as the big show of the year. The Palette & Chisel gold medal is awarded by a vote of the members to the most outstanding or meritorious painting. This year several members contemplate a cash prize to be given by a vote of a jury to an outstanding painting, besides the Palette and Chisel gold medal.

One-man exhibits are also held from time to time. An interesting feature, too, is the annual sketch or small picture show, held each November. Choice pictures are hung to be sold under the organization's unique bidding plan. Bids may be made at any time during the course of the exhibition. All bids are registered when made, and the highest bid to date on any picture is made known to subsequent bidders for their guidance. A general auction is then held on the last evening of the exhibition. Pictures are sold to the preson who has registered the highest bid for that picture during the exhibit, unless some one offers more, in which case the highest bidder takes the picture. All the small paintings are donated by the members and the proceeds go to the organization.

These sketch shows present an opportunity for all art lovers to procure meritorious works of all kinds at nominal prices, which at the same time assisting one of the outstanding artists' organizations in the country to carry on. Visitors are always welcome.

Plans are now in preparation for the 40th Anniversary Jubilee to be held the first week in November of this year. It is hoped that many old members and friends from distant lands will be present to renew old acquaintances and celebrate the event with the newer members and friends.

The officers for 1935 are:

Hubert J. Margraf . . . . . . President
Roy C. Keister . . . . . . . Vice-Pres.
Paul Schulze. . . . . . . . . 2nd Vice-Pres.
James Topping . . . . . . . . Treasurer
Chas. H. Chooke . . . . . . . Secretary
Othmar J. Hoffler . . . . . . Artist Director
Norman Anderson . . . . . . . Artist Director
Frank T. M. Beatty. . . . . . Artist Director
Chas. E. Selleck. . . . . . . Fellowship Director

Membership Roster, 1906

On the wall of the dining room at the P&C, there is a framed pencil sketch of a man wearing a high collar and wire-rimmed spectacles. He is smoking a short cigar. The man's name is August Petryl, and the small drawing notes that Petryl was president of the P&C in 1906.

When August Petryl was president, the club was located in the Athenaeum Building, on the seventh floor. (At one time this was the studio of Lorado Taft; later, the space was taken over by the club. Taft appears to have moved into a studio in the Fine Arts Building on Michigan Avenue in 1898.) The Athenaeum Building, 18 to 26 Van Buren, was at the intersection of Van Buren and Wabash, at the south end of the loop. I don't know if it is still there. It was in that block between Michigan and Wabash.

At any rate, here is a membership roster from the Athenaeum days (again, a copy given to me by Frank Hensley):



Organized 1895 Club Rooms & Studio 'Phone, Harrison 1373
7th Floor, Athenaeum Building


AUGUST PETRYL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . President
R. W. GRAFTON . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Vice-President
L.O. GRIFFITH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Secretary
FRED T. LARSON. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Treasurer
WATKINS WILLIAMS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . Librarian

Associate Life Members

Alfred L. Baker
Mrs. Emmons Blaine
Wm. Brace
Geo. M. Brill
W. L. Brown
W. A. Cameron
N. H. Carpenter
J. S. Dickerson
F. P. Dinkelberg
J. W. Duntley

James H. Eckels
Mrs. Ruth Swift Eversz
John M. Ewen
John C. Fetzer
W. M. R. French
Dr. J. E. Gillman
J. J. Glessner
Chas. F. Gunther
Marshall F. Holmes

Jarvis Hunt
Chas. L. Hutchinson
E. V. Johnson
Chauncey Keep
Frank G. Logan
Henry C. Lytton
S. K. Martin, Jr.
Stanley McCormick
Samuel McRoberts

Louis Mohr
Adam Ortseifen
C. L. Ricketts
Martin Ryerson
Oscar Spindler
Mrs. Annie M. Swift
A. L. Thomas
Edward Tilden
Mrs. F. W. Upham
T. E. Wells

Associate Members
A. H. Abbott
Thos. F. Adland
Moritz Boehm
Chas. D. Bohling
Geo. R. Bookman
Louis F. Braunholdt
Truman H. Brophy
Chas. C. Curtiss

J.G. Davis
Thos. E. Donnelley
C. R. Faulkner
Dr. W. E. Fribley
Carlton M. Hough
Bryant Lathrop
Geo. J. Leire
Emil A. LeGros

W. J. McBride
Malcolm McDowell
A. H. McQuilkin
Gustave Miller
James Wm. Pattison
Chas. Poppelbaum
Toby Rubovitz
T. O'Shaughnessy

J. E. Stein
Fritz Wagner
Thos. Ware
Arthur D. White
Edw. Williams
A. J. Zimmerman
A. G. Zimmerman

Active Members
F. L. Arnold
A. E. Albright
Theo. E. Behr
Fred S. Bertsch
A. Beutlich
Emil Biorn
Jos. P. Birren
H. Borgerson
W. C. Both
A. H. Brauer
R. E. Brown
C. K. Brown
C. F. Church
H. A. Collins
Oswald Cooper
John W. Cotton
Walter Curtis

Wm. D. DeWitz
F. V. Dudley
H. L. Engle
Al Foerster
F. Fursman
Fred Garner
Geo. Glotzbach
Robt. W. Grafton
L. O. Griffith
Max Gundlach
O. E. Hake
Alfred Hayden
Howard P. Heath
Ralph Holmes
David Hunter
W. H. Irvine
T. M. Jamison

Alfred Jansson
S. J. Kennedy
Emil Kleboe
E. Jan Krasa
Albert Kunze
Herman Lammers
Fred T. Larson
Joseph Lukas
Adolph Maier
Carl Mauch
Angus MacDonall
J. V. McFall
Thos. G. Moses
Wm. Nuenfeld
Arvid Nyholm
August Petryl

A. C. Peyton
Geo. A. Rieman
David Robinson
Eugene F. Savage
Geo. F. Schultz
C. L. A. Smith
E. Bert Smith
S. F. Stetson
Samuel Stoltz
Henry Thiede
T. B. Thompson
A. H. Ullrich
A. T. Van Leshout
Anders G. Walgren
Thomas Wilder
Watkins Williams
Herbert Wilson

Non-Resident Members
H. Richard Boehm
W. M. Clute
Karel Jan Hora

Henry Hutt
Ossif Linde
L. Mazzanovich

Fred Mulhaupt
N. G. Partlow
C. L. Sherman

Antonio Sterba
E. N. Thayer
J. L. S. Williams

(tomb of Martin Ryerson - Associate Life Member of the Palette and Chisel - located at Graceland Cemetery, designed by Louis Sullivan)

"Our Aims And What We Offer"

Another item of P&C ephemera I received recently from Frank Hensley was a copy of an old brochure. It is not dated, but it bears an acquisition stamp from the Art Institute's Ryerson Library of July 3, 1952. The pamphlet indicates that the club was then located on Dearborn Street, where we are currently.

The brochure is titled, "Our Aims And What We Offer." Here it is:

The Palette and Chisel Academy of Fine Arts had its beginning in 1895, when a group of art students were considering the need of a place where they could study together and have the benefit of friendly criticisms and suggestions, but at the same time develop their own technique without let or hindrance. The validity of this idea is seen both in the long life of the organization and in the number of its members who have risen to high rank among the artists of America. Very few of he original group remain, but the principles they upheld are as virile today as when first advocated.

For experiment and practise the Palette and Chisel Academy of Fine Arts offers unique opportunities. The location on the "Near North Side" is in a district known as the center of the cultural activities of Chicago. The Academy building, which is owned by the organization, is a substantial structure of the residential type, remodeled for its purposes and containing one of the finest general studios in the country together with private studios and exhibition galleries.

Professional models are posed in the general studio every Tuesday and Thrusday evening throughout the year and on Sundays from November to April. Competent instructors give criticisms when requested. In the galleries general and individual exhibitions of works by members follow one another from month to month, providing opportunities for approach to the art buying public. Frequent social gatherings and lectures on art topics furnish occasions for fraternizing and entertaining friends.

To become an artist member of the Palette and Chisel Academy of Fine Arts it is necessary to have had sufficient training or experience to produce works which are acceptable to the board of managers. To become a fellowship member it is necessary to show an appreciation of the fine arts and a desire to further the development of the graphic and plastic arts in particular. The membership is composed entirely of men.

Regular members, artist and fellowship, are eligible to vote and hold office. Their membership fee is $100 (on which terms can be arranged) and their dues $48 per annum, payable quarterly in advance.

In order to accommodate students, who later may become eligible for regular membership, we have a class of associate members. These pay an entry fee of $5, with the same dues as regular members. They have the use of the studio and other facilities of the Academy and can also take part in the exhibitions, but do not vote or hold office.

Among the former and present members of the Palette and Chisel Academy of Fine Arts are:

Gustave Baumann, Joseph P. Birren*, C. Curry Bohm, Karl C. Brandner, Frank V. Dudley, Harry L. Engle, R. W. Grafton*, J. Jeffrey Grant, L. O. Griffith, Edward T. Grigware, Oskar Gross, Otto E. Hake, E. Martin Hennings, Victor Higgins, N.A., Othmar Hoffler, Frank Holme*, Edward Holslag*, Art Huhta, Henry Hutt, David Hunter*, Rudolph F. Ingerle, Wilson Irvine, A.N.A.*, Alfred Janssen*, Holger W. Jensen, Roy C. Keister, Troy Kinney, A.N.A.*, Carl R. Krafft, Fred T. Larson, Frank X. Leyendecker*, Ossip Linde, Andrew Loomis, Hardesty G. Maratta*, Leo A. Marzolo, Laurence Mazzanovich, Thomas G. Moses*, Frederick J. Mulhaupt, A.N.A.*, Charles J. Mulligan*, Karl Ouren, Edgar Payne, Albin Polasek, N.A., Frank W. Raymond, Trygve A. Rovelstad, Eugene Savage, N.A., Felix Schmidt, Sigurd Schou*, Emory P. Seidel, Glen C. Sheffer, John A. Spelman, N. P. Steinberg, Joseph Tomanek, James Topping, Audubon Tyler, Walter Ufer, N.A.*, J. Scott Williams, A.N.A., Ezra Winter, N.A. (*deceased).

Artists and students desiring to avail themselves of he advantages offered by membership in the Palette and Chisel Academy of Fine Arts are cordially invited to call any Tuesday or Thursday evening between seven and nine o'clock. This will give them an opportunity to meet some of our members and see our classes and exhibitions.

1012 North Dearborn Street

Gianni Cilfone


Gianni Cilfone emigrated from Italy to Chicago at the age of five.
He studied at the Art Institute,
and later with Hugh Breckenridge and John F. Carlson.

He joined several other P&C painters who were painting in
Brown County, Indiana as well as Gloucester, Massachusetts.

More about him can be found here

Fred Mulhaupt

Born in 1871, died 1938, Fred Mulhaupt was one of the founding members of the P&C. He is mentioned in the Inland Printer article of June 1896 as a "display advertiser," and he is listed as an active member in the club masthead of 1906 as an active member.

From what I can find on the internet, Mulhaupt studied in Kansas City, the Art Institute of Chicago, and in Paris. After leaving Chicago in about 1904, Mulhaupt "took up residence at New York's Salmagundi Club. Mulhaupt lived in New York during the winter and began to visit Gloucester MA in the summer. In 1922 he moved there. His talents blossomed in Gloucester. He became a founding member of North Shore Arts Association and exhibited every year from 1923 to 1938. Mulhaupt's signature works are those that depict the working harbor of Gloucester."

Emile Gruppe once said of Mulhaupt: "There were painters in Gloucester in the old days who were more exact than he was--more 'authentic' in that they got the shape of each boat exactly right. But many of these painters, as you looked at their work, might just as well have been painting a scene in England or Norway. Mulhaupt got the smell of Gloucester on canvas. He captured the mood of the place--and that's worth all the good drawing of a hundred lesser painters." (The North Shore Arts Association of Gloucester published a catalog of Mulhaupt works for a 1999 exhibition there; I'll try to buy one online soon.)

Gold Medal Winners, 1913 To 1987

Tucked away in some closet or storeroom at the P&C there is a large wooden escutcheon that bears upon its face dozens of brass nametags, all of them tacked to the wood in neat columns and rows, each no greater in size than a stick of gum--and each tarnished to the point of near indecipherability. The escutcheon and its nameplates--here and there you'll see a blank space--is the permanent record of the winners of the Gold Medal, the P&C's annual
members' award exhibition. More than once, I have tried to make out the names of the past winners; other than to be able to read the names of the more recent winners--whose nametags had not yet corroded into near blivion--I had no success.

Another of the documents that Frank Hensley recently vouchsafed to me is a typewritten list entitled "Winners of the Gold Medal Award." I don't know if Frank typed it himself or not--at a time when the names of past winners were still unbedimmed--but the list sets forth the winners of the Palette and Chisel Gold Medal for the years 1913 to 1965.

Here they are:

Year Winner

1913 Victor Higgins
1914 Joseph Kleitsch
1915 E. Martin Hennings
1916 Wilson Irvine
1917 J. Jeffrey Grant
1918 John H. Carlson
1919 Karl Ouren
1920 David L. Adams
1921 L. O. Griffith
1922 Edward J. Holslag
1923 Harry Engle
1924 James Topping
1925 Frank J. Gavencky
1926 Oskar Gross
1927 Emory P. Seidel
1928 Edward T. Grigware
1929 Rudolph F. Ingerle
1930 Othmar Hoffler
1931 C. Curry Bohm
1932 Oscar B. Erickson
1933 John A. Spelman
1934 Holger W. Jensen
1935 Otto E. Hake
1936 Karl Brandner
1937 Arnold E. Turtle
1938 Joseph Tomanek
1939 Norman Andersen
1940 Leo A. Marzolo
1941 Edwin Wappler
1942 Roy C. Keister
1943 Nicola Veronica
1944 Leo R. Weeks
1945 A. H. Ullrich
1946 Glen C. Sheffer
1947 Walter Graham
1948 Alfred Muenzenthaler
1949 Harold F. Johnson
1950 H. L. Jorgensen
1951 James Eccles
1952 Oscar M. Lumby
1953 N. P. Steinberg
1954 Theodore Winfield
1955 Albert Alfredson
1956 Erwin G. Kummer
1957 Anthony Buchte
1958 Adolph Heinze
1959 Gianni Cilfone
1960 Walter Parke
1961 Frank Beatty
1962 Thomas McLoughlin
1963 Paul Kufrin
1964 Charles Vickery
1965 S. B. Nielson

UPDATE: I have found a document that carries forward the list of Gold Medal winners from 1966 to 1987. Here they are:

1966 Frank Poschenreiter
1967 Ralph C. Johnson
1968 Floyd A. Johnston
1969 Charles Vickery
1970 Alberto DeLama
1971 Walter Parke
1972 Walter Parke
1973 Alfred Muenzenthaler
1974 Nicola Veronica
1975 Alberto DeLama
1976 Cyril Mills
1977 Liliane Kirby
1978 L. D. Caynor Spence
1979 Max Ranft
1980 Walter Parke
1982 Max Ranft
1983 Phil Kantz
1985 Catherine Maize
1986 George Fischer
1987 Nancy Guzik

There have been several repeat winners of the Gold Medal from 1913 to 1987: Muenzenthaler (1948, 1973), Ranft (1979, 1982), Parke (1960, 1971, 1972, 1980), Vickery (1964, 1969), DeLama (1970, 1975), Veronica (1943, 1974).

Interestingly, there is no recorded winner of the award in 1981 or 1984.

Apparently there was something called the Gold Star award, as well, for certain paintings that won the Gold Medal. Here are the recorded winners of the Gold Star award:

1917 J. Jeffrey Grant
1932 Oscar Erickson
1943 Nicola Veronica
1948 Alfred Muenzenthaler
1951 James Eccles
1954 Theodore Winfield
1955 Albert Alfredson
1960 Walter Parke
1961 Frank Beatty
1969 Charles Vickery

June 1896: The Inland Printer

Recently Frank Hensley, one of our oldest members, gave me some photocopies of articles he had found about the Palette and Chisel. One of the articles is from The Inland Printer, dated June 1896--a year after the club was formed. The short article, coming so close on the heels of the founding of the club, is important to the history of the P&C.

Here it is:

An association of artists and craftsmen for the purpose of work and study--such is the Palette and Chisel Club of Chicago, some of the members of which appear in the half-tone upon the opposite page, engraved from a photograph by Carl Mauch. The organization is unique in that its members are all wage-workers and busy during the week with pencil, brush or chisel, doing work to please other people. But on Sunday mornings, at 9 o'clock, they assemble in the studio of Lorado Taft, in the Athenaeum Building, and for five hours each amuses himself by working in his chosen medium, to suit himself.

Sunday morning means a good deal to one who has worked all week, and the thought of these young men placing their easels and arranging their palettes at an hour when the rest of the city is in bed or on bicycles, is sufficient proof of their earnestness. A peep into the studio would show the men at work using all kinds of mediums, oil and water color, wash, pen and ink, charcoal, clay and modeling wax, and each as busy as a boy with a jackknife. And the conversation while the model rests deals not so much with "impressionism" and "realism," or the tendency and mode of artistic revelation as with the best methods of drawing for reproduction or the discussion of technicalities in the sculptor's or decorator's arts.

The work of the club has so far been more for study than exhibition, but there can be no doubt that such a movement among men actually engaged in illustration and decoration and kindred arts appealing directly to the people must result in improving the standard of their work. The impression that a "real artist" is incapable of doing work "for the trade" is less erroneous than the idea that an atist earning his living by practical application of his talents may not be an artist worthy of the name. The painter may lack the technical training necessary to the successful illustrator, but an experience in designing or illustration often develops qualities in a man who is prevented from attempting the higher branches of art by lack of time or opportunity, which when his chance comes, gives him an advantage over the mere painter.

Two-thirds of the members are students in the "life class" at the Art Institute night school, and a desire for opportunity to study from the model in daylight, so that color might be used, led to the organization of the club. The time at their disposal is too short to spend in bothering with officers or by-laws, so the only formality is the payment of the monthly dues to the treasurer, Curtis Gandy, who settles the rent and pays the models.

The following is a list of the club's membership: Charles J. Mulligan, David Hunter and W. J. Hutchinson, sculptors; Ray Brown, chief of the Times-Herald art department, and F. Holme, of the Evening-Post; Henry Hutt, illustrator and designer for J. Manz & Co.; Carl Mauch, of the Werner Company's art staff; Will Carqueville, poster designer and lithographer; Curtis Gandy, Capel Rowley, Richard Boehm, Edward Loewenheim and C.C. Senf, designers and illustrators; L. Pearson, F.J. Thwing and H.L. Bredtschneider, fresco painters and decorators; Fred Mulhaupt, display advertiser; Ancel Cook, scenic artist; A. Sterba and W.H. Irvine, portrait artists; Arthur Carr, H. Wagner, L.M. Coakley and J.S. Shippen, art students. Fred Larson is a "proofer," and the printer's trade is represented by W.A. Randall.

The treasurer's report shows a comfortable balance of cash in hand, and, while on Sunday meetings will soon be temporarily discontinued on account of the hot weather, the dues will run on just the same, so that when the club assembles in the fall it will be with every promise of a good and successful career.

Board Minutes 2003

Palette and Chisel Academy of Fine Arts
Regular Board of Directors Meeting Minutes
Thursday. December 18. 2003

Call to Order President Val Yachik called the meeting to order at 6:40 P.M.
Attendance: Ed Wentz. Clayton Beck. Chris Miller. Jane Ellen Murray. Michael
Wilkins, Don Lindstrom. Janet Tracy. Marion Stefl, Ralph Cossentino, Bill Ewers and
Christine Jones. Absent: Dominic Catena

Minutes. Clayton Beck made a motion to waive the reading of the minutes of the October 2003 Board Meeting and accept them as submitted. The motion was seconded The motion passed.
Board Meeting Dates
Val initiated a discussion of establishing a definite day each month on which to hold the Board meetings He also asked the Board if they felt that monthly meetings were always necessary if there were no pressing issues to discuss and no quorum would be present. The majority of the Board felt that monthly meetings should always be held and that there were always issues to discuss or ideas to present. It was determined that future Board meetings would be held on the third Wednesday of each month, at 630 P M. Val requested that an annual meeting calendar be developed at that the Corresponding Secretary. Chris Miller maintain the calendar.
Treasurer’s Report:
Treasurer Jane Ellen Murray submitted a report that the net loss for the month of
November was $15,383, which was more than double the projected loss of $6,342. This
loss reflected a drop in contributions, exhibition sales and income from special events
The year to date net income is $49,626 and will probably be affected by traditional December losses However, a SI 6.000 contribution by the Murray Foundation and $3,000 raised thus far as a result of the annual appeals letter, should improve the P&( bottom line The Treasurer’s Report indicated the Importance of a major effort next year to improve overall contributions from members, outside contributors and foundations
Jane Ellen presented a monthly financial reporting form that she felt was easier for the Board members to understand and asked for comments from the Board members regarding to future use of this form Jane Ellen also expressed concern about the lateness of material for the Treasurer’s Report, received from the P&C accountant Donald Ltndstrom had several questions about financial reporting at P&C
Janet Tracy made a motion that all issues related to financial reporting be sent to the Finance Committee for discussion and recommendation to the Board and that all concerns be presented in writing The motion was seconded. The motion passed.
Bill was asked to contact Cathy Garcia, the P&C accountant and Anthony Ruzicka, the auditor and invite them to meet with the Board, at their convenience, within thirty days.
2004 Budget Report:
Bill provided the Board with a copy of the 2003 Budget and 2004 Budget Assumptions. Bill felt that the assumption for contributions was conservative and that P&C should, he felt, raised to $20.000, through contributions and donations, in 2004. He felt that this change should be made prior to presenting the budget to the membership.
Executive Director Job Description:
Janet Tracy, working with Bill Ewers, developed a job description for the Executive
Director position at the Palette and Chisel. Vat asked the Board to review it and to submit
comments to him.
Staff Salary Increases and Bonuses:
Clayton Beck made a motion that the salary of Executive Director Bill Ewers be raised by $5,000 and that he receive a year-end bonus of $2,000. The motion was seconded. The motion passed.
Donald Lindstrom made a motion the salary of Marci Parma be raised by $1.50 per hour. The motion was seconded The motion passed.
Donor and Scholarship Committee
Marion Steffy passed out copies of a gift/donation card that had been developed by the Committee A full color pastel painting of the Palette and Chisel building, by artist member Kathleen Newman. appeared on the front of the card. Ms Newman has donated the painting to the Palette and Chisel for its permanent collection Marion said that the work of other P&C artists will appear on the cover of the donation card in the future.
Individual Rental Studios
Donald Lindsirom asked that a committee be created to deal with rental studio matters. He recommended the committee include Hill Ewers. one or two Board members, and several studio renters. He suggested that this committee initiate regular studio Inspections for insurance purposes and to insure proper studio usage
Val developed a letter. to be sent to studio leaseholders. addressing the matters of periodic studio inspections and building security, he also created a standardized, general information form for all studio leaseholders. containing basic record keeping information Val asked for board comments
Val mentioned that the current lease was antiquated and asked Janet Tracy to reformat and update it A temporary lease will be issued in 1 to 2 months with a new lease forthcoming. Vat also asked that the Board consider matters for a future discussion of studio issues such as length of occupancy.
Don Lindstrom had also prepared a questionnaire for studio renters,
Bylaws Committee Report:
Janet Tracy provided the Board with a draft of the bylaw revisions and asked that the Board to e-mail suggestions or revisions to her Val said that the Board should review the major bylaw issues so that we can bring them to the Board at the next membership meeting It was thought that correcting the problem, created over several years, of the election of officers and directors was urgent. Janet asked Bill to send Board members a list of all Board members and the expiration of their terms
A meeting to review the bylaw revisions was scheduled for Wednesday. January 14, at 630 P.M. The next Board meeting is scheduled for Wednesday. January 21. at 630P.M.

Bill Parks Tribute:
Clayton Beck made a statement in tribute to artist and instructor Bill Parks who passed away recently

Quarterly Meeting Christmas Party:
Vat reminded the Board of the Christmas pars on December 19. He encouraged all
Board members to attend.

Adjournment. The meeting was adjourned at 9:40 P.M.

Respectfully submitted.
Christine Osada Jones
Corporate Secretary


Palette and Chisel Academy of Fine Arts
Regular Board of Directors Meeting Minutes
Thursday, October 30, 2003

Call to Order: president Val Yachik called the meeting to order at 6:36
Attendance: Ed Wentz, Clayton Beck, Chris Miller, Jane Ellen Murray,
Michael Wilkins, Don Lindstrom, Dominic Catena, Bill Ewers and
Christine Jones.
Absent: Janet Tracy, Marion Steffy, and Ralph Cossentino.

Minutes: Ed Wentz made a motion to waive the reading of the minutes of the September 2003 Board Meeting and accept them as submitted. The motion was seconded. The motion passed.
Treasurer I s Report:
Treasurer Jane Ellen Murray submitted a report that the net income for the month of September was $21,250.82, which was $13,191.63 more than the amount budgeted. The increase is due in part to the new Fundamentals class, which brought in $7,475.00. This, will be offset somewhat by teacher compensation.
The year to date net income is $72,288.46
Report of the Executive Director:
• The annual wine tasting fund raising event has been postponed until early in 2004.
• A student of former P&C member Arnold Turtle has asked for assistance from the Palette and Chisel in selling her collection of 29 of his paintings. Val Yachik and Bill Ewers are investigating possible ways of conducting this sale. Val will contact Kenneth Probst, a gallery owner who is interested in American art of that era, to see if he would consider participating in this project.
• On December 11, the Arts and Business Council will hold an event at P&C. Bill said that this will be an opportunity for P&C to interact with the business community and share ideas about volunteerism.
• Liliane Kirby, the first female P&C gold medal winner, donated one of her paintings to the Palette and Chisel for its permanent collection.
• On November 11, the Washington University Medical School Alumni Association will again hold a function at the Palette and Chisel. Bill feels it is wise to cultivate this relationship.
• A Christmas party for P&C members will be held on Friday, December
19. This will also be the opening of a P&C faculty exhibition. Val asked the Board to consider whether the event should be open to the public as an exhibit reception or restricted to members, and get their thoughts to Bill within the next few weeks. Refreshments will be provided by the Palette and Chisel. This gathering of P&C members will serve as the fourth Quarterly Membership Meeting of 2003.
Membership Committee Report:
Ed Wentz presented artists David Hancock, Joyce Snyder, Mary Hanas, and
Paul David Brourman, for membership. He also submitted the name of
Cathy Barry, a returning &c member. The Board reviewed the artists’
work from slides, photos, printed material and paintings. Michael
said that he would look into that matter. Don Lindstrom made a motion to approve the expenditure of $1,100 for installation of a gallery security system. The motion was seconded. The motion passed. It is yet to be determined how the system will be used by individual exhibitors.

Finance Committee:
In response to Finance Committee inquires, Bill presented a report (see attached) which addressed questions about how instructors are paid, building insurance, frequency of financial audits, a breakdown of membership categories, and a 2003 income versus expenditure analysis.
Val said that the Finance Committee made a motion that was to be brought to the Board regarding the increase in studio rental fees. Michael Wilkins made the motion that the Palette and Chisel raise studio rental fees ten percent on January 1, 2004, and review the rental fees annually, thereafter. The motion was seconded. The motion passed.
Chris Miller said he believed that studio occupancy should rotate every four years and that rather than focusing on the rental amount we should consider how the studios serve our mission. Val said that the mission is addressed in P&C’s educational programs such as classes, workshops, and open studio sessions and that separate business considerations included dues and studio rentals. Bill commented that studio occupants are some of P&C’s best volunteers and that they were valued people. He also said that in the event of a change in rental policy, the current occupants should be grandfathered into the studio rental system. Michael suggested that the policy be applied to new renters. Don Lindstrom suggested that a committee or “studio group” be formed to make sure that the studios are being properly used for the production of artwork and that safety precautions are taken in the studios. Don volunteered to develop a questionnaire for studio occupants.
Communication Committee Report:
A general information brochure written by Jane Ellen Murray and designed by Ed Wentz is currently being printed. The brochure, which contains some history of the building and the P&C organization, along with information about exhibits and classes, will be available for visitors and used for general promotion.
Val said that the committee continues to work on the re-publication of the Cow Bell, a four-color brochure about P&C. He will be bringing more information to the Board in the future.
Rich Morrow’s new design for the Quick Sketch was shown to the Board.
Val. said that Chris Miller’s Listserv proposal would be discussed at a future Board meeting.
New Business:
Chris Miller said that the Board meeting agendas be more informative.
He asked that motions be included along with a small amount of
information about agenda items.
Bill reported that there were 25 Richard Schmid retrospective exhibition catalogs available at $35 each.

Wilkins made a motion to accept the five artists presented. The motion was seconded. The motion passed.

Donor and Scholarship Committee Report:
Committee member Chris Miller said that the committee is working on the production of a gift/donation card. He passed around a sample, which would feature the art of a P&C member. Chris also said that the committee is looking into asking members to add codicils to their wills, leaving a portion of their estates to the Palette and Chisel.
Don Lindstrom made a motion that the Board approve the expenditure of up to $500.00 for the production of a P&C gift/donor card. The motion was seconded. The motion passed.
Chris also reminded the Board that the deadline of submissions to the
annual Palette and Chisel Scholarship Competition is November 3, 2003.
Val extended the deadline until Tuesday, November 4.
Building and Grounds Committee Report:
Jane Ellen Murray reported that Bill Ewers was evaluating bids from three painting contractors for the repair and painting of the Palette and Chisel main stairwell and second floor landing. Bids received were between $22,000 and $23,000. The Jane Ellen said that her foundation will donate $16,000 for this work. The balance will be raised from the membership through the Quick Sketch and Bill’s annual appeal letter. A ribbon cutting ceremony will be held at the beginning of the project to stimulate interest in the work and encourage members to make donations. The work, which should begin shortly after the first of the year when no exhibitions are scheduled, could take several months to complete. Every precaution will be taken to insure that the renovated galleries are not damaged.
Val displayed a sample of the light fixture that had been selected for the galleries. The new light track will run approximately one and one half feet from the ceiling and wall. An “H” configuration will be used in the large gallery and an “E” configuration will be used in the small gallery. Most fixtures will be used to flood the walls with light and are intended to remain fixed. Several fixtures will be adjustable and will be used to light sculpture. Evaluation of the wiring has shown that there is sufficient power to use this lighting plan. The cost of the fixtures is $1,800. The cost of mechanical work will be $3,500. Ed Wentz made a motion that the Board approve an expenditure of up to $5,000 for new gallery lighting. The motion was seconded. The motion passed.
Completion of the galley renovation project continues. The baseboards and repair of the hole in the door will be done. Additional money will have to be approved to completion of the ceiling.
Bill has received bids for an alarm system for the galleries. A motion detector will be installed in each gallery at a cost of $812. A second motion detector in the large gallery will cost an additional $150. The Palette and Chisel can choose whether to have the devices set off a loud alarm or to set off an alarm and also alert the police. When Bill said that there would be an additional monthly charge for linking the system to the police, Chris Miller questioned whether that would be necessary since our current system in already wired to the police. Bill

Michael Wilkins suggested that committee meetings be held on a regular basis and that the Board be informed of the meeting dates.
Val reminded the Board that the Finance Committee is a committee of the whole and encouraged members to attend future Finance Committee meetings.
Adjournment: The meeting was adjourned at 8:35 PJ1. Respectfully submitted,
Christine Osada Jones
Corporate Secretary

Palette and Chisel Academy of Fine Arts
Regular Board of Directors Meeting Minutes
Tuesday, August 19, 2003

Call to Order: President Val Yachik called the meeting to order at 6:30 P.M.
Attendance: Ralph Cossentino, Dominic Catena, Ed Wentz, Clayton Beck, Chris Miller, Jane Ellen Murray, Don Lindstrom, Marion Steffy, Bill Ewers and Christine Jones.
Absent: Michael Wilkins and Janet Tracy. Guest Attendee: Cathy Garcia
Minutes: Christine Jones read the minutes of the July 2003 Board meeting. The minutes were approved as read.
Thanks to Tor Muehl: Jane Ellen Murray made a motion that the Board send a thank you note to Tor Muehl and the volunteers who painted the second floor classroom. The motion was seconded. The motion was approved.
Treasurer’s Report:
Treasurer Jane Ellen Murray reported the following:
- Net income for the month ending July 31, 2003, was $7,951, which was an increase of
$2,205 over the budgeted amount. The increase was due in part to payment of
membership dues during July.
- Year to date income is $55,558.
- Cash flow:
• The net cash flow provided by Operation for 7 months ending July 31 is $22,974.
• Net cash flow for investing is $50,293, which includes electrical repair, gallery improvements and some of the cost of repairing the coach house stairs.
• The only remaining expense is $4,000 owed on gallery extras.
Jane Ellen said that Bill Ewers and Cathy Garcia, our CPA, are beginning work on the 2004 budget. She reported that one added expense will be insurance for the P&C permanent collection which will be approximately $200 per month.
Bill Ewers explained an accounting discrepancy pertaining to the Building Fund. Bill said that since 1998, a portion of the membership dues have gone into the Building Fund. However this money has not been used, and Capital expenditures had been paid from the General Account. Consequently, the Building Fund must now reimburse the General Account for these expenditures. Currently the General Account contains $26,000 and the Building Fund contains $76,000. Repayment will begin by transferring enough money from the Building Fund into the General Account to make both equal at approximately $50,000. Money from dues will continue to be set aside for the Building Fund but it will be a smaller amount until the payback into the General Account is completed.

Cathy Garcia, our CPA, was present to answer any questions regarding the accounting discrepancy and to provide support for our Treasurer. She was asked about investing some of the P&C income. Cathy replied that P&C’s investment has been in the building, but that if no capital improvements were necessary the Board could then invest this money. Cathy, a non-profit specialist, also said that as a not for profit organization, P&C was healthy and able to pay its bills. She attributes this to our strong membership.
Ed Wentz suggested that the Palette and Chisel look into possibly increasing the revenue it receives by perhaps raising studio rental fees or membership dues.

Val Yachik distributed a list of committee members, to date. During discussion of the
committees, additional members were added.
Building Committee:
Chair - Val Yachik
Members - Dominic Catena, Jayne Bellows, Pam Knowles and Michael Wilkins Communications/PR Committee:
Chair - Val Yachik
Members - Ed Wentz, Jane Ellen Murray, Chris Miller and Michael Wilkins. Office Committee:
Chair - Val Yachik
Education Committee:
Chairs - Janet Tracy and Val Yachik
Members - Chris Miller, Clayton Beck and Barbara Lockhart Studio Operations Sub Committee:
Chair-Rich Morrow
Membership Committee:
Chair - Don Lindstrom
Member - Ed Wentz
Exhibition Committee:
Chair - Clayton Beck
Members - Lois Raub, Keith Raub, Richmond Jones and Christine Jones Long Range Planning Committee:
Chair - Chris Miller
Members - Clayton Beck, Jayne Bellows, Don Lindstrom
Gallery Lighting
Chair - Clayton Beck
Members - Val Yachik
Studio Lighting and Set up:
Chair - Clayton Beck
Members - Dominic Catina
Fund Raising Events/Grants Committee:
Chair - Ed Wcntz
Members - Ralph COssetjo
l)onations and Scholarship Committee:
Chair - Marion Steffy
Members - Lenore Murphy
Finance Committee:
Chair to be determined
Preliminary Committee Goals:
Val Yachik complied a preliminary list of goals for the committees he chairs.
Additional goals were added in discussion.
Communications Committee:
Revisit and redo the P&C web site
Inform members of issues at quarterly meetings
Develop a hand out kit
Redo Cow Bell like history piece in full color
Look for PR opportunities and develop media contacts
Promote fellowship opportunities (1-lave more social functions for members)
Work with Exhibition Committee to get more P&C exhibitions. Building Committee:
Finalize air conditioning
Review physical needs for building and coach house
Work with gallery and studio committees
Prioritize Building Committee projects Office Committee:
Initiate a systematic job description of director and staff
Initiate a systematic review of director and staff
Help director run office more efficiently
Create an annual contract for Executive Director
Unify computer databases
Chris Miller suggested that the Education Committee should, as one of its goals, complete action on a questionnaire that the Committee had been working on. He also suggested that the Exhibition Committees develop a similar questionnaire which
would address issues such as qualifications for exhibitions, types of exhibits, making the space available to outside exhibitors, etc.
Marion Steffy said that she felt each committee should develop its own goals and report back to the Board.
Bill said that the Palette and Chisel didn’t do a lot of community outreach and that this could be addressed by the committees.
Clayton Beck said that 500 sq. ft. had been lost in the third floor studio and that the Studio Committee would look into the problem of clutter and inappropriate storage. He also said that as chairman of the Exhibition Committee, he would like to have more quality exhibitions and parties to bring back the club atmosphere at P&C.

Va! Yachik asked for a motion to accept the committee structure. Chris Jones said that some of the committees did not officially exist. Val made a motion to accept the committee structure including the new committees: Communications/PR, Gallery Lightning, Studio Operations (sub committee), and Studio Lighting and Set up. Chris Miller asked that committee goals mentioned during the discussion be added. The motion was seconded. The motion passed.
Air Conditioning:
At the July meeting, the Board passed a motion to approve the purchase and installation of four air conditioning units, at a cost not to exceed $3,000, and subject to satisfaction of the Boards concerns regarding installation, control, warranties, function and operating costs.
Dominic Catena provided each Board member with a detailed proposal to provide air conditioning in the third floor studio. In answer to a number of questions, he said that a fifth unit mentioned in his proposal would create more efficient cooling and, since the units were portable, could be moved to the second floor studio or elsewhere if needed. The cost of operating the units would be low, approximately $1.00 per unit, per hour. In answer to a question about storage, he said that the units were small and could be housed in a cabinet built by volunteers. Dominic said that dedicated outlets and breakers would be installed for these units. He has generously volunteered to provide the necessary electrical work.
Chris Jones made a motion to amend the previous motion, increasing the number of units to five and the cost to $3,500. The motion was seconded. The motion was passed.
Membership Committee:
Ed Wentz presented one new artist P. Minh for membership. Paintings were submitted as samples of his work. Ed made a motion to accept P. Minh and also officially accept artists Fredrick Wackerle, Sam Knecht, Dale Popovich and Robert Krajecki who were presented at the July meeting, where a vote could not be taken because of the lack of a quorum. The motion was seconded. The motion passed.

Gallery Lighting:
Clayton Beck reported that he is investigating different types of lightning for the exhibition galleries. He mentioned a system that would flood the walls with light, eliminating the necessity of adjusting the lighting for each exhibition. He mentioned the problem of eliminating glare and providing some movable lighting for sculpture.
Report of the Executive Director:
The coach house stairs are near completion. The contractor is using an exposed aggregate material and finishing it with a sealant that will last four to five years.
A thank you to Tor Muehi and the other painting volunteers will be published in the Quick Sketch.

An alarm system for the two galleries is being considered. The cost for both galleries is a little under $1,000. A feature which will provide notification to the police would cost an additional $22 per month.
The new fundamentals class has six students registered.
Only six people have signed up for the American Society of Portrait Artists September
13th program at the Palette and Chisel. The cost for P&C members is $60.
Bill plans on visiting lighting showrooms for information on gallery lighting.

New Business:
Val Yachik will send a congratulatory bouquet, from the Palette and Chisel, to Richard
Schmid on the occasion of the opening of his retrospective exhibition at the Butler
Institute of American Art in Youngstown, Ohio. Val will also send a letter to Scott
Burdick thanking him for his continued support of the Palette and Chisel. Scott Burdick
was responsible for bringing the Prix de West to P&C.
Donald Lindstrom mentioned that a guest at his recent exhibition expressed interest in providing free professional landscaping for the P&C front garden.
Adjournment: The meeting was adjourned at 9:10 P.M.

Respectfully submitted,
Christine Osada Jones
Corporate Secretary


Frank V. Dudley

Born in 1868, Frank Dudley lived until 1957. He was a member of the Palette and Chisel within its first decade; Dudley is listed as an active member on a 1906 roster of the club (back in the days when the club was located in the Athenaeum Building on the 7th Floor, the one-time studio of Lorado Taft.

Dudley is probably best known for his paintings of the Indiana Dunes. This fall there will be an exhibition of his work at the Valparaiso University museum, the Brauer Museum of Art. There is an excellent article about him in the July-August 2006 issue of American Art Review (pdf format).

Karl Brandner

Karl Brandner was an early member of the Palette. He was born in 1898 and died in 1961. There is a snow scene by Brandner hanging in the dining room of the club. It's a favorite of mine.

Brandner specialized in snow scenes, apparently, and you can find a number of examples of them on the internet. He was also an etcher, which endears him to me. I've found an etching by him as well.

Brandner is listed as a member in an early 1950's flyer from the Palette. He won the Gold Medal in 1936--maybe for the painting in the dining room of the club.


The drawing instructor with whom I have been studying for some time is Max Ranft. Max is a great instructor and a true Chicago character. And he draws well. In fact, he draws astonishingly well. When you see a good drawing--a really good figure drawing, I mean--there is a quality to it that tends to break your heart. I don't know what it is, or why or how it gets there, but it is there, in bigger or smaller ways, in all good drawings. Max has that in his.

Though an accomplished draftsman, Max is chiefly a painter. You can see some of Max's paintings on his web site.

They put me in mind of some of those old New England painters, like Anthony Thieme or William Lester Stevens, partly because of the choice of subject, but also because, like the works of those painters, while they are filled with care for and joy in their subjects, they are robust and masculine. Max has painted outside and in his studio for many years, and he has literally stacks of paintings at home. But however much you may enjoy his paintings (and there is a lot to enjoy; be sure to see his web site), there is a side to Max that you won't properly apprehend until you take his drawing class.

Every Tuesday night from 6:30 to 9:30, Max conducts class in the smaller studio at the Palette and Chisel on Dearborn Street. There are usually around 12 to 15 students, though the record number is 21; each session lasts ten weeks. His students come from everywhere in Chicago--some young, some old, some good artists, many beginners, some intermediates. They quickly form a bond; sometimes the students bring bottles of wine or cookies to share with one another, and on special occasions Max brings in a foccacia from an Italian bakery he knows. But the class is no social hour. It is a serious--lightly undertaken but serious--business. Max and his students are devoted to drawing.

For example, September 11, 2001, was a Tuesday. At 6:30 that evening, we met in drawing class and drew from the model. What else were we to do? We couldn't, that evening, tend the wounded or avenge the dead. Drawing was more help at that point than television. Max's class is not cancelled for snow or rain or summer heat, although the Palette and Chisel is not air-conditioned and in the summer months it becomes sweltering in that second-floor studio. We sweat it out, fans whirring away around the room, and when the drawing begins, we forget the heat. On the break, we might grouse about the heat, but when it's time to draw there are no complaints. For the first time in some years, Max recently missed a string of classes; he had knee surgery and was unable to get up the stairs to the classroom. Max is back to teaching his class this September. His students have missed him.

Max starts the class by having the model do a half an hour of quick poses, beginning with very fast gestures--perhaps 15 seconds long--and working up to five minute poses. Every half an hour there is a break, and after the first break the long pose begins. The long pose is held for the rest of the evening, that is, until 9:30 p.m. During class, Max makes his way from one drawing horse to another, taking each student's place in turn to review his or her drawing. Max is not reticent about naming the faults his students have made. You will hear Max say, "the head is too big," or "you got her too wide," or "her legs look like fence-posts," or sometimes, almost with a hint of wounded resignation, "those fingers look like a package of hot dogs." Hands, of course, are deucedly difficult to draw, but to have your effort likened to a pack of hot dogs . . . .

For some, this is a medicine too strong; they prefer not to have their drawings discussed within earshot of the others--unless it is to praise them. These students tend to drop away from Max's class after two or three weeks. For the rest of us, however, as we beaver away at our drawing boards, there is much to learn in hearing Max review our fellows' work. As we work, each at his own board, each occupied with his own set of problems, half-listening to Max at another drawing board, we overhear things that apply equally well to our drawings. At times we are resistant to learning, aren't we?--no matter how earnestly we desire to improve. Learning can seem like beads of water on dusty ground--slow to absorb. It takes sheer repetition sometimes.

Then the moment comes when it is your turn to have Max look at your drawing. "Well, it got away from you, didn't it?" he'll say, little reckoning how proud you were of your effort, how you had been swelling up over that nice turn of the leg, say, you thought you had captured. Your spirits fall. With a series of quick, half-conscious measurements, Max has doped out the pose and analysed the problem, showing you what went wrong. "There's more of a lean to the pose. You didn't get the lean," or "you got her seat too low, that's what is throwing you off." And he will wipe down your drawing with the heel of his hand, take up a hunk of charcoal, and draw. Often Max draws to the side of your figure, demonstrating the correct approach in comparison. Many of my drawings bear his small demos, of a foot, a leg, a head--often the head--and I like those ones for the marks he left.

I don't mean to say that Max's comments are all negative. Far from it. He is very encouraging. "I can see you're getting it," he will say, or "you are taking a step up," or "I like the way you got the action." And what makes Max's encouragement so heartening is that you know it factors in the true premise of art, the true premise of learning, indeed of the world: that all good things, like art, are difficult; they will take a long time to learn to do well. One must throw oneself into it, grapple with it, work at it for a lifetime, and pray the gods will smile on you--all with no guarantee. Max often says, "You need to sweat blood on your drawing;" one can only say that he is right. This is true encouragement, since it is not cheap. Cheap encouragement, facile encouragement, praise without foundation--this is worse than none, since it is a lie. And no such lie ever advanced good work.

For about five years I have been in Max's class. I've been submitting my drawings to him for review each week and listening to him go around the room reviewing others' drawings, and some of his sayings have become rooted in my memory:

"Draw the whole of the figure first, leave the smaller parts for later."

"Don't worry about getting the eyelashes and toenails. Get the big thing right."

"Who cares if you don't finish it?"

"Start another one."

"Draw lightly, and then when you have it all worked out, then you can make the lines darker. I like to sneak up on it."

"The really good artists have it all figured out before they even draw--so why don't you, who are not as good as they are, go lightly at first?"

"Make a figure drawing as big as you can, use all of the paper--remember, this is a life class."

"Learn to work to the size of what you are drawing on; that way, later, you can control the drawing or painting, and it won't control you."

"Leave the head for last, don't worry about the head."

"Don't draw the head first and then draw the figure; you might as well draw the ear first and try to make everything follow from that."

"Drawing is difficult, but you will get better."

"I know it's not easy, but if it was easy, anybody could do it, and where would be the challenge in that?"

"It's good to work from memory."

"Get the action, whatever you do get the action."

"Measure, measure; at first you should be able to prove everything you draw, with measurement."

"Feel it, stare at the pose for a long time before you draw; I used to sometimes just sit and stare and the figure without drawing for a long time, because I wanted to understand the pose."

"Use a mirror sometimes; you can see your mistakes in a mirror; we used to carry compacts and look over our shoulders into the compact mirrors at our drawings."

"My old teacher used to say, your ten-thousandth head will be better."

"My old teacher used to say, you improve by the square mile."

"Never draw without the model."

"Look at the model--don't be afraid, just look. The trick is to see what you are looking at."

"Think in terms of charcoal."

"You've been cheating--you've been practicing."

"You should feel gravity pulling on that figure."

"May I draw on your paper or were you going to sell that one?"
After studying with Max for these years, struggling to put these ideas into practice and sweating much blood, I have begun to learn a lesson that goes far beyond drawing. I only pray that someday the fingers I draw won't look like sausages.

Platinum Exhibition: August 2006

(The following is only a partial selection of the 2006 Platinum exhibit -- since I was unable to photograph many pieces through the reflective glare of their protective glass. If you have images you would like to display, please e-mail them to

Mike Wilkins

Ed Wentz

Clare Tate

Stuart Fullerton

Susan Hong-Sammons

Pamela Gibson

George Shipperly (2nd place prize)

Richmond Jones

John Philbin Dolan


Marci Klug (Third Place award)

Lenore Murphy


Lenin Del Sol

Korlian Tran (gallery owner's choice)

Bob Krajecki

Larry Paulsen

Don Lindstrom

Vladimir Tartakover

George Clark

Clayton Beck III (First Place award)

(Note: award winners were selected by Aaron Galleries Modern, 50 East Oak Street.)